Daimler’s interest in electric cars gave birth to the Denza, China’s first Sino-German joint venture developed together with BYD.
A few weeks ago, reports about the German colossus speeding up Mercedes’ electric car agenda seemed to focus only on the Stuttgart-based car maker, but it looks like Daimler extended its portfolio of new energy vehicles (NEV) with the introduction of this particular model.
The Denza isn’t a new vehicle, as Daimler and its Chinese partner BYD have lifted the veil off their model at the Beijing Auto Show, two years ago. Described as “Made in China, for China”, the car featured a 47.5 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery, framed by a lightweight aluminum case with extrusion profiles, that could offer a driving range of up to 300 km (186 miles).
The second generation, however, called the Denza 400, offers increased battery capacity from 47.5 kWh to 62 kWh, and an upgraded range up to 400 km (248 miles) – hence the name. Battery charging can be done at any household power outlet, public charging facilities or special wall boxes; the latter reducing charging times from seven hours to less than an hour.
Styling wise, nothing has changed, as the Denza remains a roomy, family car with a trunk volume of 460 liters (16.24 cu-ft). Since the car’s launch in September 2014 (with a starting price of RMB 369,000/$59,250), Daimler and BYD sold nearly 3000 units.
“Our joint venture BDNT unites the best of Sino-German cooperation in new energy vehicles. Already offering safe, reliable and convenient electric vehicles from and for China, the DENZA 400 with upgraded range offers our Chinese customers a further improved driving experience,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China.